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Cuadrilla to drill horizontal exploration well

Oilfield Technology,

Cuadrilla Resources has announced that it will submit planning application for a horizontal well at its Anna’s Road site in Lancashire, England. The company believes that by drilling a horizontal well it will be able to get a better idea of the nature of the shale rock in the Bowen Basin and the level of gas that can be viably recovered.

Cuadrilla has completed the drilling of three wells in the Lancashire license area so far, as part of its exploration programme. All three have been vertical wells.The drilling of a vertical well is currently underway at the Anna’s Road site. This will be the fourth well Cuadrilla has drilled in its exploration programme.

Cuadrilla’s CEO, Francis Egan, said, “This new well is an important part of our on-going exploration programme and will progress the work we are carrying out to understand whether it will be viable to recover the natural gas beneath the Bowland. By advancing the exploration programme with this horizontal well we will move closer to unlocking what is potentially a very important energy resource for Lancashire and for the UK.”

The horizontal well will be an extension of the vertical well currently being drilled at Anna’s Road, for which Cuadrilla gained planning permission in November 2010.

Horizontal wells are an established industry technique and have been used around the world for many years, including in the UK. Perhaps the most notable British example is at Wytch Farm, on the southern shore of Poole Harbour in Dorset. This site, which is the largest onshore oil field in Western Europe, extracts natural gas and oil from horizontal wells that extend from the Dorset site deep beneath the surface.

The horizontal well planned at Anna’s Road will be 8.5 inches in diameter and extend approximately 1000 m from the vertical well over one mile beneath the surface.

As part of plans to give people living in the surrounding area a chance to learn what drilling a horizontal well entails the company is holding a public Information Day on September 4 where senior management will be on hand to discuss the topic.

Adapted from press release by Peter Farrell.

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